An effective long-term solution to straightening your teeth and correcting your bite is orthodontics. Orthodontics is a sub-specialty area in dentistry that focuses on aligning and straightening teeth using wires and brackets that apply force to the teeth to move them into a particular position. The discipline has advanced over decades and today treatment is a lot shorter and more comfortable than it was in the past.
The main benefit of having orthodontic treatment is that straighter teeth are healthier teeth. When your bite is properly aligned and your teeth are straightened, there are fewer gaps and areas for food to get trapped. Therefore there are fewer chances for plaque to build up on the teeth causing decay.
We will monitor your children's dental development at their dental check ups. Where necessary we will make a referral to a specialist orthodontic practice where they will be able to further assess your child's orthodontic needs and advise you accordingly. Some patients will qualify for orthodontic treatment under the National Health Service (NHS) depending on the severity of their bite. Where this is not possible, alternative self funded options will be offered.
Orthodontic treatment is also available for adult patients. This is usually on a fee paying basis, but in some cases NHS funding may be available.
There are all sorts of different techniques available now for leveling and aligning teeth ranging from invisible braces such as Invisalign to conventional 'train track' style braces using white brackets to minimise their visual impact. In addition, hidden on the backs of your teeth orthodontics is also possible.
Patients who have problems with their bite and the way their top and bottom teeth line up against each other should consider having orthodontic treatment. Treatment does require good oral hygiene habits by the patient and regular visits to the practice for check-ups. Depending on the extent of the alignment required with your teeth, treatment can take from several months to a couple of years.
If you are interested in orthodontic treatment please mention it to your dentist and they will be able to discuss things with you to make sure it is right for you and then arrange for a referral to a specialist orthodontist.